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Joey give us a wrap

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Selectors could pick six Eagles

    By Andrew Johns


    IT was simply Manly's time.

    I sensed it in the lead-up to the Grand Final with this Eagles team but not even Des Hasler could have dreamt they would put 40 points on the Melbourne Storm.

    Rarely do you see a team out-play the opposition in every position on the field but that's just about what the Eagles did yesterday.

    The question now is just what impact their win will have on the Test selectors.

    I reckon as many as six players - Brett Stewart, David Williams, Brent Kite, Josh Perry , Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart - could find themselves in the Kangaroos World Cup squad after what happened yesterday.

    Kite came up with the best game of his career and is a certainty while Glenn Stewart's efforts just have to be recognised.

    Perry and Watmough have to come into the mix, Brett Stewart has some stiff competition for the fullback spot but what a player he is and Williams, well, I'd just pick him on the wing full-stop.

    He was sensational yesterday and every time the ball went anywhere near him, the crowd leapt to its feet. They love him and the game needs personality players. What's more, he has just grown an extra leg this season. He can score a try, is good under the high ball and is fearless - everything you want from a winger.

    The Eagles made the strongest possible statement about what they were about from the opening whistle yesterday.

    It was a ferocious first 15 minutes with Kite and Perry ripping in and the speed the Eagles were playing at caught Melbourne a little on the back foot. They weathered the early onslaught and despite Manly's dominance, they only conceded just eight first-half points.

    But in a lot of ways, the carnage in the second half was a result of the groundwork the Eagles laid in the first 40.

    Even when Kite and Perry went off, Mark Bryant and Jason King came on and there was just no let up for the Storm defence.

    With the dominance set in stone up the middle, Manly's creative players - Matt Orford, Jamie Lyon, Beaver Menzies, the Stewart brothers and Watmough - had a second-half field day.

    Orford answered every critic he has in the best possible way, with his kick for one of Michael Robertson's three tries a moment of sheer brilliance from a player at the top of his game. His hit on Antonio Kaufusi late in the first half, which led to a Manly try, was also a telling moment of the opening 40 minutes. But how do you single out Manly players without giving everyone a wrap.

    Hats off to Dessie. He was handed a tough lesson last season but it's been his response to what happened which is a measure of the coach. He had his side primed and ready and they delivered.

    You can't help but feel for the Storm.

    They have been, and still are, a great side but they have had a tough campaign and with the number of key players missing yesterday, they were running on empty and couldn't keep it together for one more week.

    They weren't disgraced, no matter what the final scoreline might tell you.

    They were just beaten by a team at the peak of their powers who were never going to let this one slip.
     

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